Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Rental Car Center
Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Rental Car Center
Phoenix, Arizona

For a traveler, the commute is part of the journey. But it’s more than just getting from point A to point B. It’s about simplicity. It’s about getting there. It’s about coming home. Finding your way from A to B. Easier. A place has the responsibility to guide, direct and simplify.

In January 2006, the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport became home to the nation’s largest consolidated rental car facility (CRCF). The new facility is equivalent to 103 football fields and houses all of the airport-based rental car companies and their operations.

Rental car customers do not have to seek out individual rental agency buses at the airport curbs. Instead, one common bus will carry them to the nearby CRCF. All of the rental agency counters and vehicles are in one location. When customers return their rental cars, they go to the same center and board a bus to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

The consolidated rental car facility benefits the airport through maximized concession and other revenues, long-term facility lease agreements, reduced traffic and curb congestion, environmental awareness and improved security benefits.

The Vision

The project infuses and melds the voices of more than 20 separate entities. The stakeholders include 16 rental car agencies, the City of Phoenix Aviation Department, Sky Harbor Business Center, Phoenix Arts Commission, the Arizona Department of Transportation, various airlines, local artists and historians, and the community.

The Design

The centerpiece of the new development is a 150,000-square-foot customer service building on a 141-acre site. It houses the rental car companies’ customer processing functions, administrative offices, concessions and employee functions. At the state-of-the-art facility, the customer conducts business transactions and picks up and returns rental cars to the same location. A 7,200-space, multi-level rental car facility, for ready and returned vehicles, is integrated with the customer service building.

The design strives for an indigenous quality, reflecting the character of the southwest region. The natural environment is woven into all parts of the building. The building connects strongly with the land on which it rests and appears carved out of the existing rock by years of erosion, while the natural desert riparian zones shape the vertical cores. The canopy recalls a desert wash while skylights control the light like a deep rock shaft.